Shower seats are a must to stay current with the latest in bathroom designs. Not only do shower seats add a touch of spa luxury to your bathroom, but they have a valuable function. A shower seat can offer a comfortable way to shave legs, a safe way to clean feet, and even allow for a bit of “shower play”. Seating provides an opportunity to relax and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of water. If anyone in your family has mobility challenges, the universal design of a shower seat provides a safe support.
Shower seats come in a variety of types, sizes, and finishes. Built-in shower seats are an option in manufactured shower systems, as well as custom tiled showers. Shower seats come in free-standing, wall-mounted with or without legs, and in fold-up or stationary types. Sizes range from small corner seats to wrap around L-shaped seats that are as deep as the shower. Size of the seat is limited by the size of the shower, and should be appropriate for the size of the bather. Shower seats can be made out of phenolic (layers of resin coated material heat pressed into a durable plastic), Ipe wood (Brazilian Walnut), teak, tile, composite fiberglass or padded.
Built-in composite seats are easy-to-clean, but can get in the way since you can’t flip them up when you are not using them. They are also not available in all shower models. Built-in tile seats are sometimes too small to be comfortable, have too much grout, abrupt edges and are difficult to clean.
Free-standing seats are flexible because you have a choice to take them out, but can be very dangerous as they are prone to flipping over, especially for those with mobility challenges. Many do not have a spa-look, instead they tend to be institutional in design.
Seats that bolt securely to the wall are the best option. They cannot flip and when properly anchored, provide safe seating that usually can be folded up out of the way when not in use. Pay special attention to the weight limits of shower seats. Seats without legs usually have an upper limit of 250lbs, while those with legs can hold 500lbs or more.
Phenolic seats (a type of plastic) are an easy to clean, and an economical option, especially when function is the most important consideration. Padded seats are comfortable, reasonably priced and reasonably easy to clean, but are not as durable as phenolic or wood-topped seats. For the ultimate spa-look, make your shower the embodiment of relaxation and luxury with the addition of an Ipe (Brazillian Walnut) shower seat.
Ipe is the best choice for a wooden shower seat. Ipe lumber is remarkably dense and doesn’t warp or shrink. It rarely splits or splinters, making it a safe choice for shower seating. Its natural anti-fungal properties and general water resistance make it ideal under wet conditions. It is a beautiful, rich brown colour that doesn’t fade. Ipe is used extensively in outdoor decking because of its durability. An Ipe shower seat will be sure to provide years of enjoyment.